Over 185,000 visitors flocked to Poole Museum in 2016, making it the most popular free attraction in Dorset.
Visit England, the national tourism agency for England, announced the results for the top free attractions this week, with Poole Museum being named number one in Dorset, and fifth in the South West, as well as Scaplen’s Court also reaching the top 20 for most popular free attractions in Dorset.
Opened in 1989 by Borough of Poole, Poole Museum has seen an increase of 32% in visitor numbers since 2015, and Scaplen’s Court, a 15th century, grade I listed property, has seen an increase of 5.3% throughout the year.
Poole Museum has been home to an array of wonderful exhibits, including the Swash Channel Wreck, Sea Music and Lines of thought – which attracted thousands of visitors from across the UK.
‘Lines of thought: Drawing from Michelangelo to now’ showcased studies and graphic works by artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Picasso.
The 70 studies, which were loaned to Borough of Poole Museum Service by the British Museum, drew in students and visitors alike, to explore the once in a lifetime exhibit and try their hand at sketching, embracing the influence of the works that lined the gallery walls.
Councillor Mohan Iyengar, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Culture, says: “I hope people will agree that we’ve had some terrific exhibits in the museum – especially over the past couple of years. The number of visitors bears that out and my thanks go to our schools and associations and the residents of Poole for engaging with us so well. And not least to our Culture Volunteers Poole who make it all happen. This result encourages us to develop the offering and we’ll be glad to say more about this in the near future.”
Poole Museum is open daily from 10am - 5pm, and is free to visit.
For more information about current exhibits, visit www.poolemuseum.co.uk/whats-on/exhibitions.